The Tort of Defamation of Character Requires a Plaintiff to Prove That The Defendant…

Defamation Demand Letters The Tort of Defamation of Character Requires a Plaintiff to Prove That The Defendant…

The Tort of Defamation of Character Requires a Plaintiff to Prove That The Defendant…

Damaging a person’s reputation by publishing wrong statements about them is defined as defamation. If you believe that you have a defamation claim against someone, you can sue them. A defamatory statement can be in writing or just spoken words. Each state has its own rules when it comes to defamation claims, but most of the rules are very alike.

You might be wondering about your legal options if you believe that you have a defamation claim against someone or you might be asking yourself what you need to prove in court. In this article, we will tell you exactly what you need to prove, what the common laws surrounding defamation are, and how you can choose to write a cease and desist letter easily with DoNotPay!

Types of Defamation

There are two categories of defamation, which are:

Libel Libel is any defamatory statement that is made through written platforms such as social media, websites, or newspapers.
Slander Slander means any defamatory statement that is made through spoken words.

What a Plaintiff Needs to Prove for a Defamation Claim?

In order to win a defamation case, you have to prove the following elements:

False and Defamatory Statement
  • The statement that was made has to be wrong, and you have to be able to prove that it is wrong.
  • The statement should damage your reputation to discredit, ridicule, and/or harm your integrity.
  • Also, by the statement, we mean that it has to be spoken or written as a fact. Mere opinions do not give you a defamation claim.
It’s About You As a plaintiff, you should be the one that is referred to in the defamatory statement and this should be the case for any reasonable person.
Knowledge of Statement’s Falsity To be held accountable, the defendant must have known that the defamatory statement was false. However, this is generally the case with public figures. Private figures will not have to prove this point and will have to prove negligence only.
Disregard of Statement’s Truth As a plaintiff, you need to prove that the defendant has willingly and recklessly disregarded the truth or untruth of his statement.
Negligent in Ascertaining the Statement’s Truth Negligence defines a statement that was said without the concern of its accuracy. A reasonable person would not have made such claims. In court, a reasonable person standard is being applied.
Damages You have to prove that you have been damaged by the defamatory statement in some way. You might have experienced financial loss, for example, being fired from the workplace.

Proof of damage is not necessary for per se defamation. Per se defamation cases are the ones in which the court considers the defamatory statement as damaging in itself. Some examples are:

  • the defendant charged the plaintiff with criminal conduct
  • the defendant has written or spoken of the plaintiff as having an infectious disease
  • the defendant has charged the plaintiff as being morally corrupt

Defenses to a Defamation Claim

There are some defenses against a defamation claim, which will cause you to lose the case if they are proven:

  1. Truth: if the defendant can prove that the statement they made was true, then you will lose the case.
  2. Privileged: if the defendant can prove that the statement he made was privileged, then you cannot sue them. Privileged statements are the ones made during public hearings, court sessions, or legislative discussions.
  3. Opinion: If the statement was just a mere opinion and not said or written as a fact, then you will again, have no advantage.

Why Should You Write a Cease and Desist Letter?

Your first legal option should be to write a cease and desist letter because even though it is not legally enforceable, it gives you the chance to resolve the issue out of court. If you directly sue the person who made the defamatory statement about you, it will cost you unnecessary time and money. Cease and desist letter will tell the defendant that you were harmed as a result of his defamatory statement, that you want compensation and retraction of the statement, and you are going to sue them if they are not willing to resolve it out of court. For that, you will need a strongly worded letter, which DoNotPay is here to help you with!

All you need to do is:

1. Search for “Defamation Demand Letter” on DoNotPay.


2. Answer the following questions:

    • Was it slander or libel?
    • What was the defamatory statement and how was it false?
    • What are your damages as a result of the defamatory statement?
    • Which state did the defamation occur in?


After you provide our robot lawyer with this information, DoNotPay will compose a customized and strongly worded cease and desist letter for you to send to the defendant!

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